Medical Respite Kauhale Ready to Open

On Wednesday, it took a large village to complete a small village for homeless people in need of medical respite in urban Honolulu.

About 60 volunteers put the finishing touches on Kauhale (a small village). The village has ten residential units, three bathrooms, shaded outdoor gathering spaces, a nursing station, and a 24-hour security office in the parking lot on Punchbowl Street next to the State Department. . Health and Governor’s Washington Place Mansion.

Kauhale’s namesake Prama Ora is scheduled to begin accepting guests on May 31 with referrals from urban hospitals in Honolulu to monitor medical conditions with the assistance of on-site nurses as needed. Temporarily serve discharged homeless patients who need a place to recuperate further from the hospital. A doctor is also waiting.

The creation of this medical haven Kauhale began seven weeks ago with a call to action from Gov. Josh Greene’s administration, where an “army” of partners and volunteers helped bring the vision to life.

The one-room living unit, nursing station, and security office were constructed off-site using materials and labor donated or heavily discounted by the nonprofit HomeAid Hawaii and were placed on-site about two weeks ago. . Subsequent work includes installing water, electricity, and sewage connections and a five-foot vinyl fence around the project, which will occupy the 27-car parking lot typically used by the council.

On Wednesday, interior and exterior fixtures were installed, including window blinds, beds, nightstands, clothing racks, plants, patio tables with umbrellas, outdoor string lighting, and large canopy tents. Volunteers also assembled welcome packages with snacks, clothing, toiletries, and other items for soon-to-be guests.

“It seemed impossible at first, but everything worked out,” said Bob Wardlow, social services coordinator for Project Vision Hawaii, the nonprofit that manages Prama Ola. “Wow. I can’t believe there are so many people.”

Many volunteers were affiliated with organizations such as Queens Health System, Hawaii Medical Services Association, Greens Office, Team Rubicon, and The Salvation Army.

“This is a testament to the caring community we have,” said Kimo Carvalho, executive director of HomeAid Hawaii. “They are the ones making this happen.”

Carvalho estimated that it would cost about $11,000 to build each unit using donated or discounted materials and labor, plus another $45,000 for discounted or donated indoor and outdoor furniture. .

Chris Dotson, owner of Mililani-based landscaping company Dotson Gardens, led 10 other volunteers to grow more than 70 plants from Waimanalo nurseries into handcrafted planter boxes and other items at Prama Ora. prepared for the arrangement of

“We’re going to add a little more color and vibrancy to the front[of the unit]to make it look better,” he said.

Volunteer Noriko Wada of the veteran-led disaster response organization Team Rubicon takes pride in preparing Pramaora for residents’ comfort, including sanding planter boxes to remove dirt. I was there.

“It’s easy to say that the government should do something about homeless people and people in need,” she says. “We believe everyone can step up.”

All of Wednesday’s work took nearly 10 hours, including a visit from Greene after lunch, who helped put the finishing touches on the project and thanked him for all the hard work over the past few weeks.

As a doctor, Mr. Green said he would see Prama Ora guests from time to time, saying such a facility would reduce repeat hospital visits for homeless people and save the health care system $12 million a year. We estimated that we could.

“This is really about saving lives for people who are constantly going to and from the hospital at great expense and in great pain,” he said.

Project Vision Executive Director Dara Kauhane Florke said the length of time a guest stays at Prama Ora depends on their medical condition and can range from a few days to much longer.

Queen’s Medical Center is located across Prama Ora and is expected to make many referrals along with other hospitals in Honolulu’s urban center.

Homeless people, who make up 30% of all emergency room visits, often stay on one side of Punchbowl Street, sometimes in hospital gowns and medical bracelets.

“Prama Ora,” which means “to embrace new life,” is temporary, perhaps for six months or so, until hospitals can add more beds to care for the patients they can accommodate at Kauhale. It is intended to

After this period, the Prama Ora unit will be used for future general-use Kauhhale as part of Greene’s hopes of developing a dozen small villages to help transition the homeless into permanent housing. It is planned to be

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